The problems of America are spiritual. We are being completely consumed by the cancer of sin. Only repentance can heal us.
Today’s post is a guest post by a precious sister in Christ, Nikki. She is from Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean. I’m so thankful for her willingness to share a bit of her story. I believe it may be a blessing to many other women:
I’m sharing with you an account of how I completely lost my faith in God by praying for my family. I was facing some severe family problems and began to pray in earnest.
Old Approach to Prayer
Below is list of the advice I followed during that period of my life:
- I sprinkled my entire house and all of my possessions with holy water and blessed salt.
- I said dozens of novenas (Note: a novena is a Catholic tradition of saying a prayer every day for 9 days). I bought a book of novena prayers and each one said at the bottom “This is a very powerful novena that has never been known to fail.” I said novena after novena expecting and hoping for some change and things only got worse and worse.
- I was told to buy a particular type of cross and get it blessed by a particular monk and place it over the front door of my home.
- I went to church more than once a week, expecting that God would be obligated to obey me because of that.
Everyone I went to for advice suggested a different prayer or ritual. No one advised me to check my own heart and clear it of any pride, anger, unforgiveness, selfishness or idols. The more I prayed and performed these gimmicks, the worse things in my family got and I ended up completely heartbroken, bitter and angry at God. I hated God and wanted nothing to do with him for almost 10 years…until I had a stranger approach me on a beach and led me to pray and give my life to Christ.
When I started to rebuild my relationship with Christ, I prayed for my family very hesitantly and with a lot of fear. I was terrified of getting my heart broken again. I wanted more than anything to preserve my relationship with God first and foremost, regardless of how other aspects of my life were going.
Losing your faith in God through following gimmicks is not isolated among Catholics. I know many Protestants who lost their faith in God through gimmicks like sending “seed money” to particular TV-evangelists or pastor, by “naming and claiming” things that they want, or by writing down a list of the things that they want and putting it in the centre of their Bibles.
Red Flags for Prayer
Because of my horrific experience, I would like you all to be aware of these red flags that you may be praying in the wrong way:
- Do you want your prayer request more than you want God? If you do, that is idolatry. Your idols will always destroy you spiritually, mentally, emotionally and even physically. So please work daily to identify any idols in your heart and tear them down. Don’t even allow your husband or children to be on the throne of your heart. Set Jesus alone on the throne of your heart.
- Do you trust the words of the prayer itself or the rituals you are participating in more than you trust God? No prayer is powerful and fail-proof. Only God is powerful. No prayer should be trusted. Only God deserves your trust. Keep that in mind when you are praying. (From Peaceful Wife, we pray to have communication with the Lord and to present our needs and requests before Him. Prayers should not be looked upon as “spells.”)
- Are you hanging on to any anger, unforgiveness, revenge or hatred? God is more concerned with the condition of your heart than whatever prayer you are saying. He will not answer our prayers if we are harbouring sinful anger and hatred in our hearts. (Ps. 66:18)
- Are you ignoring your God-given role? Husbands are advised to fulfil their role to love their wives so that nothing will hinder their prayers (1 Peter 3:7). Similarly, children should fulfill their role to honour their parents and married women should fulfill their role to respect their husbands so that nothing can hinder their prayers.
- Are you attempting to manipulate or force God to do what you are asking Him to do? God is not a genie in a bottle who submits to us. We are meant to submit to Him. If we treat God like some sort of cosmic Genie and think that if we do/say the “right words,” He will be forced to obey us and give us what we want, we are praying with very sinful motives.
- Are you praying for others in an attempt to control them or force them to change their ways to suit you? God does not allow us to have ultimate control and authority over anyone. Only He is sovereign. (From Peaceful Wife – even He doesn’t force people to obey Him, but gives people free will.)
Green Flags for Prayer
I have learned a lot about prayer and God over the past few years and I would like to share with you some green flags that prove that you are praying in the right way:
- Humility before God. (Phil 2: 5-11)
- Love, mercy and forgiveness towards others. (Mark 11:25)
- The understanding that God is in charge, not you. (Prov 19:21)
- Denying yourself and following Christ. (Luke 9:23)
- Wanting God’s will above your own. (Luke 22:42)
- Faith that God loves you and will do what is ultimately best for you. (Rom 8:28)
- The understanding that God uses our trials to help us grow in spiritual maturity and that we need to be willing to endure hardships and difficulties to grow. (Rom 5:3-4, James 1:2-4)
- Depending on the Holy Spirit to move and change people rather than me trying to take the place of the Holy Spirit or force my way. God does not force Himself on anyone. He will never take away anyone’s free will. If you are praying for someone, God will work on that person’s heart and invite that person to Him, but will never force that person to change (John 16:13-14). When praying for others, hold the outcome very loosely because their response to the movement of the Holy Spirit in their hearts is ultimately up to them.
If we pray in this way, we will be standing on the Solid Rock and we will have hope and joy even in the midst of great trials, whether God gives us what we want or not.
Trusting God in Trials
Right now, I am facing trials of many kinds, but rather than sinking into a pit of despair, hopelessness, and heartache, I am at peace and growing in my faith because I know that God loves me and is in charge of everything.
I actually focus 95% of my time with God on reading the Bible and discovering the truth and beauty of God’s Word and only about 5% of my time praying for specific outcomes for myself, my marriage and my family. My primary focus is on loving Jesus and building my relationship with Him, and not on my circumstances.
Habukkuk 3:17–19 sums up what our attitude should be:
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights.
I’m sure that Habukkuk would have wanted the fig trees to bud, the fields to produce ample food, and many strong, healthy animals in his land. He didn’t have any of those things, but his love for God lifted his spirits, gave him strength, and filled him with joy.
Praying with Humility:
And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.” Luke 7:6-7
I hope that you can all learn from my story of misplaced hope and my discovery of what prayer is really about. I really would love all of us to have great relationships with Christ and rejoice together in heaven, which will be the ultimate prayer-fest!
Can you relate to Nikki’s story? What were some approaches you have used with prayer in the past that were unhealthy? What wisdom has God given you about prayer as you have grown in your faith in Christ?
Note – We will use the comments on this post to discuss praying to God rather than debating various theological differences between Christian denominations. Christ prayed in John 17:21 that all Christians will be one and that is what this blog strives to foster. Thanks for understanding!
Posts about idolatry
What Is Lordship Salvation? by www.gotquestions.org
Something our culture today is really great at is – offense. It is almost mind-blowing just how easily offended people are today. And it is sad. Because when we are so easily offended, we also have a lack of unity, relationship, emotional connection, harmony, and teamwork. We also miss out on most of the fun, joy, and blessings in life.
THE TRUTH IS
- Criticizing other people is super easy.
- Looking at myself and my own faults and taking responsibility for changing myself is HARD.
It is human nature to go around blaming others and pointing our fingers at other people in disgust while we believe we are wonderful, good, and virtuous. It takes incredible spiritual maturity to be willing to honestly look at ourselves and our issues. But God calls us to take responsibility for our own lives first. He calls us to remove the “beam” from our own eye so that we can see clearly enough to remove the “speck” from someone else’s eye (Matt. 7:1-5).
How can I tell if I have a “spirit of offense”?
- Am I more concerned about being “right” about everything than anything/anyone else?
- Do I tend to focus on other people’s faults?
- Do I feel it is my job to correct people’s mistakes in many areas of life?
- Do my words tend to be laced with negativity and criticism about situations and people?
- Do I “vent” often to others about things other people did to upset me?
- Do I tend to have a short fuse and/or raise my voice easily?
- Do I believe that it is unacceptable for people to disagree with me?
- Do I feel it is my duty and responsibility to make people change their minds to match my opinions, my convictions, and my beliefs – by verbal force – if necessary?
- Do I verbally attack, insult, or try to humiliate people who think or act differently than I want them to?
- Do I think I truly know best and everyone else would be a lot better off if only they listened to my great wisdom?
- Do I have a hard time forgiving even the smallest slights from others?
- Do I tend to hold onto grudges, resentment, and bitterness?
- Do I tend to have very rigid expectations and be unable to bend or be flexible in relationships?
- Do I tend to be a perfectionist and get upset if things are not exactly the way I think they should be?
- Do I go on an all-out verbal assault on anyone who dares to question or criticize me – assassinating the person’s character and acting like a prosecuting attorney in a criminal trial?
- Do I have difficulty finding sin in my own life and tend to assume I am a “very good person” with few sins in my own life and have no trouble at all finding a lot of sin and wrongdoing in other people’s lives?
- Do I tend to assume the worst possible motives of others?
- Do I have to have the last word in an argument?
- Do I think of myself as morally superior to other people?
- Do I tend to burn a lot of bridges in my relationships and cut people out of my life even if they apologize and try to change?
- Am I much more concerned with voicing my opinion and telling people my thoughts than understanding what other people think or understanding their perspectives?
- Do I tend to find negative things to say about the pastor’s sermon, my boss, my parents, my in-laws, the way my husband helped me with the kids, the way my son took out the trash, etc…?
- Do I always feel it is my responsibility to confront people on anything they say about which I don’t agree, no matter how small the issue may be?
- Do I feel everyone around me owes me an answer for their thoughts, words, decisions, and deeds? Like it is my right to question them?
- Do I give the “cold shoulder” treatment to people often?
- Am I quick to share (gossip) all about the terrible things other people have done to me – to my husband, my family, my coworkers, and others?
- Do I tend to verbally abuse other people who don’t agree with me, insulting them and cutting them down?
- Do I let my emotions have free reign and let my anger have its way when someone ticks me off and not restrain my words if I feel even slightly offended?
- Do I genuinely wish harm on people who don’t do what I want or who disagree with me?
- Do I freak out if people even talk about their religious or political beliefs if they don’t match mine? Like I really don’t think anyone else should get to have free will but me?
If I answer, “yes,” to several, or maybe (*gulp*), ALL of these questions – it’s time to consider that I may have a significant issue with a spirit of offense.
I, personally, had this sin festering uncontrollably in my life for many years. It truly was a painful way for me to live, and it was painful for those around me, too. The fruit of my life was: bitterness, resentment, worry, fear, control, anxiety, depression, frustration, loneliness, lack of emotional intimacy with others, and broken relationships.
Greg actually said to me one time, many years ago, “You LIKE to be miserable. You want to be miserable. You don’t want to be happy.”
I started to argue with him, of course.
But then, I actually stopped and thought about it. I realized that I was pretty negative and I was rather miserable. I don’t think I actually enjoyed misery. But that sure is where I camped out for many years. I didn’t know how to fix it. But maybe, for once back then, I had to acknowledge that Greg was actually right!
(Now I know he has quite a lot of wisdom to share, if I am willing to listen and receive humbly. He can sometimes see my blindspots and help point me toward a better life.)
God’s Word says pride is one of the most deadly sins.
The root of a spirit of offense is – PRIDE. Big time pride.
Pride was the sin of Satan. He wanted to exalt himself to be equal with God and wanted others to worship and follow him instead of God. His temptation to Eve was that if she ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, she would “be like God.”
Satan appeals to our pride still, today. His tactics haven’t changed a lick. Satan loves for us to take offense and to think highly of ourselves. He loves to help create division, tension, offense, hatred, bitterness, contention, arguments, jealousy, and resentment. When we participate in these things, we give him authority in our lives to destroy us and to use our lives to help destroy others.
What does God say about pride?
- There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. Prov. 6:16-19
- The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. Prov. 8:13
- Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Prov. 16:18
- One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor. Prov. 29:23
- “Knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. 1 Cor. 8:1
The Cure for Pride is Humility.
I must continually humble myself before God and acknowledge that HE is God. I am not. I stop exalting myself above God in my heart and mind. I turn from my pride and embrace that God alone is good and righteous. I am not. I need Jesus and His blood. I have no goodness on my own apart from what Jesus did for me on the cross.
I get off of the throne of my life. I stop demanding that other people look up to me and exalt me. I stop demanding to be exalted by others.
I set God, alone, firmly on the throne of my life. I acknowledge that He, alone, has all wisdom and it is infinitely higher than any human wisdom, including mine. I stop being an enemy of God and I bow my heart and knee to His Lordship in every area of my life.
- “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6
- Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 1 Pet. 5:6
I love the quotes from Andrew Murray in his book, “Humility“:
- Pride must die in you, or nothing of heaven can live in you.
- Here is the path to the higher life: down, lower down! Just as water always seeks and fills the lowest place, so the moment God finds men abased and empty, His glory and power flow in to exalt and to bless.”
- Humility is the displacement of self by the enthronement of God.
The Bible Has Great Wisdom for Us about How to Deal with Offense:
- Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense. Prov. 19:11
- For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt. 6:14-15
- Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Rom. 12:19
- Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Eph. 4:26-27
- Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:19-21
- For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. James 3:16
- Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Gal. 6:1-3
- And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. 2 Tim. 2:24-26
Ultimately, every sin is against God. He will deal with it. He will bring about justice and vengeance for any sin that has not been covered by the blood of Jesus. I can entrust myself to the Lord. I don’t have to make people do things. I don’t have to freak out when people don’t understand me or don’t agree with me. I don’t have to try to control them and change them myself.
This doesn’t mean truth is relative. God’s truth is absolute, according to the Bible. But I don’t have to try force truth – or my opinions – on people. I can share with them if they are open to it and trust God to work in their hearts. I can pray for Him to illuminate their eyes.
I can rest in God’s love and goodness. I can rest in His sovereignty and Lordship. And I can invite Him to work powerfully to change and heal me and to transform others and heal them, too.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t ever have to address sin or wrong doing in other people’s lives. I absolutely may need to, at times. I may also need to set very clear boundaries, or even remove myself from certain toxic relationships if people refuse to repent and change if they are severely sinning against me. But I can approach other people’s sin God’s way and from a posture of humility, love, honor, and respect – rather than with a judgmental, critical, hateful spirit.
And I must be very much on guard against a spirit of offense in my heart every day and repent if I notice it is starting to creep in.
Prayer of Repentance
Expose the depths of sin in our hearts. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom.3:23). Maybe no one has ever confronted us in Your love about our sin. Don’t let us continue to be blind to the great extent of our sin and the massive debt which we owe to You. We all struggle with pride. We all struggle with offense and wanting to be “right.” We are so small – just creatures made of dust. And You are the One true God, King, and Creator of the universe. How dare we exalt ourselves to be equal to You or above You in our hearts and minds?
Our pride offends You. It destroys us. It destroys others around us. It kills our relationships. It creates division and severe damage in our marriages and families. It is an instrument of the enemy. We don’t want to live in pride and a spirit of offense any more! We humble ourselves on our faces before You. We need Your help! We can’t fix ourselves or clean ourselves up. We are a mess without You.
Cleanse us from all of our sin by the powerful blood of Jesus Christ that was shed for us on the cross. We bow humbly before You, acknowledging that You, alone, are worthy to be called, Lord. We are not. We are creatures who are dependent on Your mercy and grace. We have no holiness of our own. Our greatest attempts at righteousness look like bloody, nasty, menstrual rags in Your sight (Isa. 64:6).
Robe us with the holiness and righteousness of Jesus. Transform us and conform us to the image of Christ because that is Your will for us and it is very good (Rom. 8:29) . Purify us and make us clean and radiant in Your sight now and forever!
Help us to grow in humility. Help us to exalt and honor You, alone. Help us to have proper reverence for You in our hearts. Help us to close the door to the enemy and to our flesh and sinful nature. We want to live in the power of Your Spirit from now on and in the power of Jesus’ victory over sin and the grave.
Fill us with love and faith in You. Fill us with Your supernatural love, grace, and mercy for our fellow travelers on this journey. Grant Your beautiful Spirit of unity to our marriages, families, churches, and our nation.
How has God spoken to you on this issue? Do you have any wisdom to share with us?
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Check out these verses sometime this week. Each topic could make a wonderful study for your devotional time each day.
Humility by Andrew Murray ($0.99 on Kindle)
One of the most powerful ways to pray is to pray the promises and truths of God over other people and ourselves. This way, we know we are praying in God’s will and when we pray in agreement with God’s will, we know He hears us.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23-24
We must be careful with this! God is not a genie who gives us everything we ask for. But when we are walking in the power of the Spirit, in obedience to the Lord, and we are abiding in Him and His Word is abiding in us, we pray according to God’s will. That is what it means to ask for things in Jesus’ Name. We are praying according to His will and for the purposes of His kingdom. Our prayers are powerful and effective if we are walking in the righteousness of Christ (James 5:16).
To get ready to pray for other people, or ourselves, we’ll want to:
- Have a saving relationship with Jesus ourselves.
- Confess and repent of any sin in our own lives.
- Praise God for His amazing character.
- Thank God for His goodness and His good gifts in our lives.
In this prayer, I am assuming your husband is a believer. But even if he is not, it’s fine to pray for him like this, asking God that he might become a believer in Christ and that he might be completely transformed by the abundant new Life Jesus has prepared for him.
- First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, or kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Tim. 2:1-4
It is our sacred responsibility and honor to stand in the gap for our husbands, knowing that they are under constant spiritual attack as the leaders of our homes. Who better to pray for them than their wives?The things we are praying together, we declare out loud in faith that God is bringing these things about according to His Word and His will.
Pray with me, inserting the name of your husband (most of these things you can also pray for your children and yourself, as well):
We thank and praise You that in Jesus Christ, my husband, _________________, is:
- The head and not the tail. (Deut. 28:13)
- More than a conqueror. (Rom. 8:37)
- Seated in the heavenlies with Jesus. (Eph. 2:6)
- Able to walk in the power and holiness of Jesus. (Eph. 6:10, 2 Tim. 1:7)
- The priest and leader of our family. (1 Cor. 11:3, 1 Pet. 2:5)
- A beautiful representation of the love, humility, leadership, and sacrifice of Jesus in our family. (Eph. 5:22-33)
- Able to see the God-given way out of any temptation. (1 Cor. 10:13)
- Able to hear God’s voice clearly and to obey Him. (John 10:27)
- Able to experience the victory of Christ every day over sin and this world. (Deut. 20:4, Rom. 6:14, Rom. 8:31)
- Being conformed into the image of Jesus for the glory of God. (Rom. 8:28-29)
- Held firmly in the loving hand of Jesus and protected by God the Father. (John 17:11)
- Able to find and live out his God-given calling, spiritual gifts, and ministry. (1 Cor. 12:7)
- Fruitful for the kingdom of Christ. (John 15:5, Gal. 5:22-23)
- Filled to overflowing with the Living Water of Christ. (John 7:38)
I thank and praise You that my husband is blessed to be able to:
- Humble himself before You, recognizing how great and exalted You are and how lowly he is.
- Mourn before You over his own sin and over sin and injustice in this world and that You will comfort him.
- Hunger and thirst for righteousness and he will be filled!
- Be merciful so that he will be shown mercy.
- Be pure in heart for He will see God.
- Be a peacemaker and a child of God.
- Be persecuted in this world because of righteousness.
- Be a citizen of heaven.
Or I can pray the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) over my family members and myself:
I thank and praise You that Your Spirit is working mightily in my husband, children, and myself to produce heavenly, eternal fruit in us. You are bringing forth unconditional love, divine joy, supernatural peace, godly patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in us. Thank You, Lord!
I can pray Romans 8 over us:
I thank and praise You that we now have the mind of Christ and are no longer under the control of the flesh! Our minds are now life and peace in Jesus! We have the power of the Spirit to put to death the misdeeds of the body. We don’t have a spirit of fear but a Spirit of sonship with Christ Jesus! Thank You that we are all co-heirs with Christ! Thank You that if we share in His sufferings, we can also share in His glory! Thank You that Your Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Thank You that You use all things – good and bad – to accomplish Your good purposes in our lives. That You will cause everything to work for our ultimate good and Your glory. Thank You that You are conforming us to the image of Jesus through all that is happening around us and to us. We receive all that You want to do in our lives. Thank You that we are predestined to be Your children. We are called. We are justified by the blood of Jesus. We will be glorified with You in heaven!
Thank You for Your incredible generosity in providing Jesus for our salvation and that You will provide all that we need here in this life and in eternity! Thank You that nothing can separate us from the love of God through Jesus. Thank You that we are more than conquerors through Christ!
Or I could pray the prayers of Paul. Or pray through some of the Psalms. Or the promises of Scripture for believers.
This is a great way to pray for our children, others, and ourselves, as well!
Teach us to walk in Your righteousness, in obedience, and in holiness as we begin to truly grasp the depths of Your love and provision for us. Teach us to pray powerfully and effectively to help birth Your will and Your purposes in our lives and in the lives of those all around us for Your glory! Thank You for the honor and high privilege of prayer that You have given us. Help us to appreciate and value this incredible gift and how You have decided to allow us to be part of Your work on earth.
What are some ways you love to pray for others and for yourself? We’d love to hear about it.
How Can I Be Sure I Am Praying According to the Will of God? by www.gotquestions.org
What Did Jesus Mean When He Said, “Ask and You Shall Receive?” by www.gotquestions.org
What Is the Key to Effective Prayer? by www.gotquestions.org
E.M. Bounds book “The Necessity of Prayer” – free download
I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
The more I know the Lord and the more I see of His goodness, character, and love, the more I spontaneously desire to praise and thank Him. It is a natural outpouring that results from understanding who God is and acknowledging all of the innumerable blessings He has given me. Truly, it is the only appropriate response for me as a believer in Christ to my kind, loving, generous, gracious Creator, Savior, and Lord.
Of course, some days praise and thanksgiving comes more easily than others. But whether I feel like giving praise and thanking God or not, there are many good reasons that I want to live a continual lifestyle of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord. Thankfully, this is a choice of the will that I can make no matter how I may feel in the moment.
11 reasons I want to enthusiastically embrace praise and thanksgiving every single day:
- God alone is worthy of all of my praise and thanksgiving.
- He is the Creator of the entire universe. (Gen. 1:1, Col. 1:16)
- He gave me life and every good thing. (Gen. 2:7, Matt. 7:11, Luke 12:24, James 1:17)
- He alone is God and there is no other god. (Isa. 44:6)
- He alone is completely good. He is love. He is light. He is truth. He is holy. He hates evil and sin. He is just. He is kind. He is generous. He is sovereign. He is omnipresent. He is omnipotent. He is perfect. (Verses about God’s character)
- God calls me, and all believers in Christ, to praise as a vocation – here on earth and in heaven.
- It is God’s will for me to live in continual thanksgiving and praise.
- An attitude like this puts God and my problems in proper perspective and grows my faith.
- God commands me, as a believer in Christ, to live in thanksgiving and praise because it greatly blesses me, it is an appropriate response to Him, and it honors Him. (Ps. 50:14, Ps. 99:5, Isa. 42:10, 1 Thess. 5:18)
- My praise for and thanksgiving to God align me with His good purposes and His will for my life and His kingdom.
- My praise and thanksgiving to the Lord help to transform wrong, sinful thinking.
- It is part of allowing God to renew my mind. (Rom. 12:2)
- When I am boasting in God, I am not boasting in myself. God opposes my human pride but gives grace to me when I am humble. (James 4:6)
- I acknowledge that He is God and He has all the rights of being Lord and I do not. I learn to lean on His wisdom rather than my own human wisdom. (Prov. 3:5-6)
- I learn to develop an eternal perspective rather than a temporal one – to see how God will use all things for my ultimate good and His ultimate glory. (Rom. 8:28-29)
- Praise and thanksgiving are a huge part of how we take our thoughts captive for Christ. (2 Cor. 10:5)
- God inhabits the praises of His people.
- My praise and gratitude to God create a spirit of faith and trust in me. (Prov. 3:5-6, Heb. 11:6)
- As I see God for who He really is and all that He has done, I realize I have no reason to fear, unbelief, doubt. My fears melt away as I grasp His greatness and as I taste His goodness. (1 John 4:18)
- When I remind myself of God’s faithfulness in the past, I see that He will also be faithful in my current and future circumstances. (Ps. 42:6)
- Thanksgiving is how God instructs us to approach Him in prayer.
- Demons feel very unwelcome when there is praise and thanksgiving to God going on.
- My praise and thanksgiving to the Lord is a spiritual weapon. As I sing praises to the Lord, evil spirits flee. (1 Sam. 16:23)
- Sometimes trials come from the enemy to test my faith – just like with Job – to prove that I will turn against the Lord and stop praising Him if I suffer temporarily in this life. (Job 1:9-12)
- May I never give the enemy of my soul any occasion to mock the Lord! But may I continue to praise God and trust Him no matter what may happen here on earth, knowing He is with me and He is for me and that no weapon formed against me shall prosper! (Isa. 54:17)
- When I stand on God’s Word and proclaim His truth and praise out loud in faith in Jesus, demonic opposition cannot stand against me. I don’t have power against demons/Satan in my own strength, but in the Name and power of Jesus, I can resist the enemy with the truth about God and the truth of God’s Word. (James 4:7)
- Praise and thanksgiving are powerful spiritual prescriptions for depression, discouragement, anxiety, and fear.
- When David wrote the Psalms, he poured out his heart, burdens, trials, and heavy emotions. Then he always reminded himself to praise God, even when he faced humanly impossible circumstances and his very life was in jeopardy. (Ps. 42:5)
- It is impossible to continue to feel depressed, defeated, lonely, or discouraged when I set my eyes firmly on the Lord in all His glory and I see His goodness, love, and provision for me! God is infinitely greater than my circumstances and other people.
- My sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to the Lord open the floodgates of heaven to countless blessings:
- God’s provision.
- Answers to prayer.
- Miracles. (Acts 16:25-34)
- God’s glory. (1 Chron. 15:16, 2 Chron. 5:13)
- Spiritual victory. (2 Chron. 20)
- People coming to Christ! (Acts 16:25-34)
- God’s kingdom coming in my life and on earth. (1 Chron. 16:7, Jer. 30:19)
- Greater joy. (Neh. 12:31-33)
- Physical health benefits to me.
NOTE – Trials are a signal to me that I need to greatly increase my praise and thanksgiving to the Lord to allow much more of His Spirit, wisdom, and power to flow into my life and circumstances. My response when under any kind of spiritual attack or warfare must include much praise and thanksgiving to the Lord!
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
How has God revealed these truths to you in your own walk with Him?
Why Is Praising God Important? by www.gotquestions.org
What Does It Mean to Praise God? by www.gotquestions.org
What Does the Bible Say about Thankfulness/Gratitude? by www.gotquestions.org
What Does the Bible Say about Ingratitude/Unthankfulness? by www.gotquestions.org
Today, let’s talk about the beauty of a godly woman who doesn’t yield to fear (1 Pet. 3:4-6) This is something the Lord has been teaching me, personally, this year through quite a few trials. I am still learning, but He has brought me a long way! I just had to share these treasures with my precious sisters.
My natural temptation is to look at difficult circumstances, frustrating actions/words from other people, or the news and to completely freak out when bad things happen. My temptation is to react in fear and to run and hide or to try to protect myself in my own wisdom. But when fear is my motive, I will make destructive choices every time.
To be fearless, I can’t:
- Center my life on the details of the storm of my current circumstances.
- Obsess about what terrible things might happen.
- Try to figure everything out myself.
- Depend on my feelings or past experiences as sources of absolute truth.
- Try to control things, people, or God to get them to do what I think is best at the time.
- Become consumed by what other people are doing or saying – or not doing and saying.
- Resort to human wisdom or human solutions.
- Listen to the lying voice of the enemy who wants me to give in to hopelessness, discouragement, distraction, depression, and the flesh.
To be fearless, I must keep my focus fully on Jesus and depend on Him to lead me and to do the heavy lifting!
To be fearless, I need to know who Jesus is and know who I am in Him. My security has to be in Him alone.
I don’t have to be shaken. I don’t have to crumble into worry, fear, and anxiety.
Even when things do not go the way I had planned, and I don’t understand what is happening, and even when my heart is hurting and broken, I can stand on the Solid Rock of Jesus Christ. He alone will never leave me and never fail me. He will sustain me in supernatural ways – even in the midst of my greatest fears. He is my Good Shepherd. He has provisions for me that I can’t know specifically ahead of time. But I can know that He has them and He knows what to do! He has ways of handling circumstances, people, and my own heart and mind that are vastly superior to any scheme I could concoct.
I am in the palm of God’s loving hand! My husband and my children are in the palm of His loving hand!
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim. 1:7 ESV
Fear is not the abundant life Jesus died to provide for us. His victory over sin, death, and the grave provides a victorious life. He gives us His own Spirit. He gives us His presence. He gives us access to the very Holy of Holies in heaven – 24/7!?! He gives us the death, burial, resurrection, power, and authority of Christ. He gives us thousands of great and precious promises! Why should I be afraid?
If we could only grasp even just the following promises God gives us in Romans chapter 8 alone, what spiritual strength we would have!
- There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1
- For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Rom. 8:6
- For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons. Rom. 8:15
- (We are)…heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Rom. 8:17
- The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Rom. 8:26
- The Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Rom. 8:27
- We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Rom. 8:28
- For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, Rom. 8:29
- If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Rom. 8:31-32
- No, in all these things (various hardships) we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Rom. 8:37
- For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Rom. 8:38-39
If I am willing, each new scary thing that happens is an opportunity for me to learn to stand more firmly on God’s Word, His love, and His truth. It is a faith-stretching moment. It is a chance to lay my specific fears down before God and to entrust them to Him. It is also a chance to lay my life down as a living sacrifice to Him (Rom. 12:1-2). It is an opportunity for me to invite God to work supernaturally in my heart, in other people’s lives, and in circumstances for His glory. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for me to shine for Christ in the darkness and to experience the miraculous provision of God in that exact situation.
I have an incredible Savior and Lord who is going to accomplish His good purposes in my life and in this world as I trust Him!
Transform us. Melt away our fear with Your supernatural, amazing love. Lift up our heads. Let us see that You are coming soon! Help us use our time wisely and let each of us be prepared to stand before You without regrets. Empower us to be the godly women You call us to be. Let us love, honor, and respect our husbands. Let us bless them. Let us love, bless, and nurture our children, teaching them Your truth and Your ways. Let us share the Gospel and love and life of Christ with those around us.
Let us be faithful to all that You desire us to do. Empower us to be good stewards of all of the resources, talents, and gifts You have given us. Help us become women of fervent prayer, women who know the Word and handle it rightly. Use us to stand in the gap for our husbands, children, churches, communities, nations, and the world. Use us – in the power of the Holy Spirit – to help storm the gates of hell to reach those who are perishing. Use us to be salt and light in a decaying, dark world.
We praise and thank You for all You have done, all You are doing and all You will do in our lives! We rejoice and sing songs of adoration to You!
Make each of us fearless in Christ by Your power and for Your glory!
Francesca Battistelli’s –The Breakup Song (breaking up with fear)
What are some ways God has shown you to be fearless? We’d love to hear about it!
We must pray like never before for our world, our nation, and our culture. There is a great spiritual battle going on and time may be very short. God is calling to us to wake up!
As followers of Christ, we must stand in the gap for our nations, our government leaders, our communities, our churches, our businesses, our schools, our friends, our neighbors, our families, our marriages, and our children. Everything that is precious to us is hanging in the balance!
Our battle is not against flesh and blood – but against demonic forces. People look and act like enemies, but they are merely pawns in the real enemy’s hands. They are imprisoned and blinded and don’t know what they are doing. They need Jesus like we all do.
Satan has plans to steal, kill, and destroy us all. He wants to destroy our culture and our nation with evil lies and all manner of ungodly delusions. He especially wants to take our children captive and derail their God-given, glorious destiny.
Our weapons are spiritual weapons. Not earthly weapons. We don’t lash out with hatred. We don’t slander. We don’t gossip. We don’t use violence. We don’t lie. We don’t deceive. We don’t wrongly accuse.
We get on our knees before the sovereign Almighty God and pray with humility, urgency, grief, fervency, and passion. We plead for the salvation of so many who are deceived, miserable, and lost. We pray God’s blessings on those who hate us. We pray God’s mercy on those who don’t deserve it. We pray God’s grace on those who attack us (and our brothers and sisters), that He might open their eyes and woo them to Himself. We pray for His new spiritual Life to awaken them. We pray for God’s kingdom and good to triumph over evil. We speak the truth in love. We stand for holiness and righteousness. We protect life and innocence.
We hate evil of all kinds. We entreat God to rid every area of our culture of evil, corruption, and sin. We ask for righteous, faithful, godly, just leaders in government, churches, businesses, the media, and families.
We invite God’s Spirit of Light into the vast darkness. We invite His glory into His church and into every arena of influence in our land. We invite His Gospel to move forward powerfully and pray in a great harvest into the Kingdom.
We invite the Bible into the closed, dark places of our society. We prepare ourselves to be sent by God to reach those whom He loves so dearly. We prepare to make great sacrifices to accomplish God’s will, if necessary, like many of our brothers and sisters are doing around the world even now.
You have us here in this place in this time for such a time as this. Cleanse us of any sin in our own lives. Purify us and set us apart for Your purposes. Prepare, equip, and empower us to be salt and light for You in this raging spiritual battle. Use us to share Your love, Your Gospel, and Your healing with countless people. Use us to rescue the dying and recover Your loved ones who are lost.
Increase our faith greatly! Help us to receive all of Your Spirit that we can hold. Help us to grow by leaps and bounds in spiritual maturity so that we might pray powerfully and effectively in the strength of Your Spirit.
We need Your intervention more desperately than we can possibly say.
In the Name and power of Jesus Christ and for His will,
Note – right now, it looks like the path of Florence may come directly over the Columbia, SC area where we live. I’m not sure how significant the impacts will be, but I appreciate your prayers for those in harm’s way (especially along the coast) and also for our linemen, first responders, meteorologists, and government leaders. I also appreciate your patience if I happen to not have internet access or electricity for a bit.
I’m so thankful for Nina’s willingness to share her story in response to my prayer for those who are facing hurricane Florence and other major storms, earthquakes, and trials this week. :
My husband and I experienced flooding in our home during Harvey last year. The frame of our house is now covered with His Word written by the hands of those who helped us through. I wouldn’t change a thing as we saw God’s providence and provision throughout the whole ordeal. He is a good, good, Father.
It was not the rain that flooded us, but the release of tremendous amounts of water from a nearby lake (the capacity of an Olympic swimming pool per second!!) that flooded us. We only had a moment’s notice to get out.
We had no idea how high the water would get. We were able to take essential paperwork with us (passports, social security cards, etc.) and our dogs, but everything else we put up on counters and just counted all the furniture as lost. We had no time to load up a U-haul!
That night as the waters rose, I lay in bed at our friend’s house remembering all the treasured pictures of my son and family and just prayed that they were up high enough. I knew I there were things I had forgotten to put up high. After the water receded and we went back into our home, I didn’t care about anything in there that was lost, except one thing that had fallen from a table into the water…..a memory book from my son’s high school baseball team his senior year. In it was a beautiful letter he had written to me.
I held that book and looked at all the ruined pages of pictures and priceless words he had written to me and I just wept. But God, in His perfect sweetness, reminded me that those words and pictures were still in my heart and one day, even those treasures were incomparable to the priceless gift He had given me in His Son. Yet, through a series of events, even that book was replaced by a friend (whom I hadn’t even seen or spoken to for about 7 years). She had seen my tearful post about losing it, contacted the photo company that printed it, purchased a new one and mailed it to me! There are so many stories I could share about how God comforted, provided, and blessed us throughout the ordeal. He blew us away over and over. He truly was with us when we passed through the waters!
When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
Going through Harvey was also especially powerful for my husband. He watched God provide for us from the simplest things like needing a bag of ice (and a golf cart with literally drove up as we were discussing needing ice for our cooler!) to huge things like a restaurant owner (where we eat on Sundays after church) offer us one of his rental houses free for as long as we needed it. God provided for us every single step of the way! There is too much to recount! It was amazing and humbling.
This picture with Psalm 46:10 spoke to me greatly…..in the heap of our big mess, He was letting us know not to worry because He’s got us. :).
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Ps. 46:10
And this picture below is super special because the scripture was written by our good friend, Ephesien, who works for some missionaries we visit each year in Haiti. He just happened to be in Texas visiting during the hurricane. My husband still tears up when he thinks about our Haitian brother’s handwriting of God’s Word on our walls.
Our church actually became a shelter and quickly organized teams to help those in need. We had about 40 people from our church to muck out the house as soon as the water receded. It was a beautiful sight to see the body of Christ come together! Many affected people in our community have come to Christ as a result. Praise God!
For those of you facing this hurricane, know that your God is stronger and He will be with you through it, bringing beauty out of havoc it tries to wreak.
God sees you, hears you, and He won’t let you go.
If you have been through a big trial or storm and would like to share how God used it to bless you, we’d love to hear about it! Your story might be exactly what another sister in Christ needs to hear to help encourage them to trust the Lord in their own difficult situation.
It is very tempting for us to just want to pray a hurricane away.
It is certainly fine to ask God to spare us from a hurricane or from other kinds of disasters. Many times, He has diverted a storm so that it didn’t cause all of the destruction it could have caused. And we rejoice in His power to calm the storm!
But I would love for us to ask God for much more than that.
Let’s ask Him for His greatest possible glory in the midst of this storm. And let’s ask Him what He wants to do and how He wants us to pray.
If that means for the storm to turn, that would be amazing. But what if God intends to use this storm as a wake up call for many people? What if He wants to use it to heal marriages and families? What if He wants to use it to heal the division in our communities? What if He wants to use it to get people to stop and really evaluate what is important in life? What if He wants to use it to bring many people into the Kingdom of Christ?
What if a great storm is actually merciful?
What if the storm is an answer to our prayers for our country to turn back to the Lord?
There have been revivals that take place in areas that have been hit by hurricanes and disasters in the past. There have been communities that have come together. There have been Christians who have been able to reach people they couldn’t have reached otherwise because they meet the needs of those impacted by a disaster.
God often used storms and disasters in the Bible to accomplish His will. To lead people to the place He wanted them to go. To prepare their hearts to listen to His voice. Or to get their attention. A great storm can also be a reminder that our security is truly in Christ alone, not in anything else.
Use the trials we are facing now to do the most eternal good possible. We tend to look only at the physical and the here and now. Help us to see with Your eyes. Help us to hear anything You want to speak to us in the storm.
Florence and Olivia (and many other hurricanes in recent weeks and in coming weeks) are huge and powerful. We want to see people spared from harm. We don’t want to see property damaged or people hurt or killed. We ask for Your mercy over those who are in harm’s way with hurricanes and with so many earthquakes around the world. And then there are many people in harm’s way because of wars and violence. The trials going on right now are too many to even count. So much human suffering is happening around the globe.
But what we desire most is Your greatest possible glory and the greatest possible harvest for Your kingdom!
We invite You to use all of these disasters and trials for Your good purposes in our individual families, our churches, our communities, our states, and our nations.
Show us what You want us to do. Show us how to be cooperative with our husbands if we are in the path of a major trial and how to become a stronger, more united team than ever. Let us walk in Your supernatural peace as we lay our anxieties before You. Help us set a godly example for our children of what it looks like to respond in faith in You, rather than in fear. Use this experience to help our children’s faith grow like crazy and to help them grow in spiritual maturity as we show them the way of faith. Empower us to extend the love of Jesus and hospitality to our family, friends, and strangers.
We invite Your Spirit to work powerfully in our families and in our communities and in the areas that are being hit and devastated by these heavy blows. Mobilize Your people to help those who are hurting.
Let Your Kingdom come in these areas! Let people be sensitive to Your leading and Your Spirit and Your gospel. Thank You that You graciously give us wake up calls so that we don’t continue on and on in our ignorance or in our own way.
Thank You that You are there with us in the storms. Thank You for Your provision. Thank You for Your promises in Your Word that hold firm in every calamity.
Help us to count even these extremely difficult trials as joy (James 1:2-4). Use them to help us grow in our faith. Use them to help us reach out to those in need. Make us a supernatural blessing to everyone around us. Use the storms and disasters to reach the lost and to wake them up to new life in Jesus. Empower us to respond in Your Spirit in our families, our communities, and our churches. Use them to spur us on to do Your will in our circles of influence.
Please give our government leaders wisdom to direct people to safety. Please give church leaders and community leaders wisdom, as well.
We invite Your Spirit to do miracles in many lives and to broadcast them on weather and news channels around the world. We invite You to use these storms and disasters to proclaim Your gospel message around the world in powerful ways!
Be greatly glorified in these storms and trials. Show Yourself mighty! Help us all to see our desperate need for You and our dependence on You. We are not in charge! You alone are sovereign. Let us come together in unity and cooperation as families, communities, and the body of Christ.
Open our eyes to all of the blessings You have for us along the way, the spiritual treasures, the opportunities to share Your love with others, the provision for our needs, and all of the good things even in these difficult times. Empower us to have thankful hearts. Empower us to sing Your praises in the storm!
Pour out Your Life-giving gospel, Your love, and Your truth over all the people who are experiencing suffering and trials. Let millions turn to You in a great harvest while there is still time in this era of grace before the door closes.
- The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him. Nahum 1:7
- And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matt. 8:26
- For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 2 Cor. 4:17
- Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
- Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7
I lift up my sisters (and brothers) in Christ to Your throne room in the highest heavens. My heart is burdened. Your church is so very sick. The church, the body of Christ, that should be glorious, vibrant, and healthy is filled with the gangrene of sin. If it continues unchecked, it will destroy us.
Open our eyes to everything that is spiritually toxic in our lives and in our culture. There are so many things! Help us to see clearly all the areas were we need to repent of sin to which we have been blinded (*listed at the bottom of the post). Purify us. Purify our families. Purify Your church. Purify our whole culture.
Let there be a massive, overwhelming movement of genuine humility, contrition, mourning over our own sins and the sins of our nation, and true repentance. We can barely wrap our minds around the severity and weight of all of our offenses against Your holiness.
Let there be a new Great Awakening. Let many come to faith in Christ. Let many yield to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and put all their faith in Him. Let Your Spirit powerfully transform us all and regenerate us that we might be conformed to the image of Christ.
Heal us from the wounds of our sin and the sin of others against us. Let us rise to become a holy generation, set apart for You. Let us be part of Your remnant. Bring in a massive harvest one last time before the Tribulation time begins even in the midst of this Great Apostasy.
Let us set a godly example for our children – the children that the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy in any way possible. Spare them from the enemy’s evil plans! Give us Your wisdom, truth, and power to build healthy marriages and families on the Solid Rock of Christ. Heal broken men and women. Heal broken marriages. Heal broken children. Heal families, churches, and communities, Lord! Restore us with the power of Your Gospel!
We are completely dependent on You. No one else can save us. No one else can fix the mess we are in.
We welcome Your Spirit and Your Word and Gospel back into our lives, into our families, into our schools, into our government, into our workplaces, and into our communities. We need You! Without You, all there is – is darkness. We need Your Light in our homes and communities again.
You are Light. You are Truth. You are Love. We choose to receive You and not to reject You. We choose Your narrow way that leads to Life through Jesus and the cross!
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear Your voice calling to us. Let us turn to You with all our hearts and cry out in repentance and for an Awakening that will heal our land.
I pray for a mighty outpouring of Your Spirit on us all – like nothing any of us have ever experienced. Not because we deserve Your favor. But for the glory of Your great Name!
If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
*Our sins that grieve God’s heart include things like: pride, self-righteousness, legalism, licentiousness, “cheap grace,” selfishness, unkindness, irritability, fear, worry, unbelief in Him idolatry (loving other people/things/desires more than we love God), apathy, lack of love, faithlessness, gossip, lust, porn use, sexual activity outside of marriage (between one man and one woman), inappropriate speech, vulgarity, immodesty, vanity, greed, hoarding, gluttony, addictions of any kind, hatred, bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, violence, physical abuse, emotional abuse, spiritual abuse, malice, murder, abortion, setting an ungodly example for our children, neglect, using our words to hurt others, cussing, taking God’s Name in vain, accusing God of evil, self-hatred, favoritism, bias, racism, unrighteous anger, unbiblical divorce, distorting His Word, believing lies, receiving false teaching, rejecting sound doctrine, telling lies, deceit, divisiveness, bribery, worldliness, stealing of all kinds, dishonesty, disrespect for those in positions of God-given authority (including our husbands), lack of submission to the Lordship of Christ, entitlement, atheism, believing man’s word rather than the God’s Word, not caring for the poor, not sharing the Gospel, calling good evil and evil good, putting ourselves in the place of God, not resting in and abiding in God, neglecting time with God in the Word and in prayer, trying to be good enough in our own strength, depending on our own wisdom, and so many other things that completely grieve His heart.